The Sunbeamtech HDD Docking Station includes the base unit, AC power adapter, A-B USB cord, eSATA cable and instruction manual. Everything is packaged well to prevent accidental damage during shipping. The base unit consists of a small rectangular block with an opening in the top to insert either a 2.5" or 3.5" SATA hard drive vertically. A spring-loaded flap controls the size of the opening based on which drive format it is used with. As we can see below, the Sunbeamtech HDD Docking Station (on the left) is identical to the Thermaltake BlacX (on the right) in design.
In the front center there is an eject button that can be used to assist in removing the drive from the dock, although it is not difficult to simply pull the drive out manually. The oval-shaped part along the right is an LED indicator ring with two colors, blue for power and red for activity.
The rear houses the connection ports, with power on/off switch, AC power and data interfaces. Here we see that the Sunbeamtech Dock does offer the much faster eSATA port whereas the original BlacX had USB only.
The Docking Station will accept either 2.5" or 3.5" SATA drives. Inserting a drive is extremely easy, thanks in part to the flap which guides either size drive into the correct position for the power and data connectors to line up. The top or label side of the drive must face forward, towards the user, to insert into the base. SATA drives are hot-swap, meaning they can be removed or inserted while the base and computer are powered on. To prevent data corruption, any disk activity should be halted using the Safely Remove Hardware wizard in Windows prior to physically removing the drive from the dock.
Continue as we take a look at performance and offer some final thoughts.